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Letters to the Editor (Commentaries, Rape on Television, Funerals, Hospitality, etc)

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor continue to roll in. My gratitude goes to each reader who takes the time to write in. Here are a few of the most noteworthy I’ve received recently.

Letters on Logos New Testament Commentary Collection

I recently purchased your NT commentary recommended bundle on Logos, and my, what a deal! I hope you and Logos can partner together on an OT commentary set in the near future. Thanks!

—Matthew D, Arlington, VA

Tim: Yes, it is a great value and I’m glad you found it worthwhile. We hope to do an Old Testament equivalent soon. Stay tuned!

Letters on An Army Without Supplies

As a support worker (recruiter with Wycliffe Bible Translators) seeking to recruit many more support workers for our translation teams, I was so glad and grateful to read this article. I hope it gets lots of “air time”! It also reminded me of how much I appreciate my support network of ministry partners who pray and give so I can serve full time in this role. Thanks for sharing this reflection, Tim.

—Carmen E, Philadelphia, PA

Thank you for encouraging our home staff of a small mission agency here in Kansas City with your recent blog, “An Army Without Supplies.” I am often challenged and/or encouraged by your blogs. This one was an encouragement. After serving cross-culturally in another country, my wife and I have served on our home team for the past 12 years and you are “right on!” We indeed serve together as a team around the world. Thank you for taking time to call attention to this team on the “home front” who supply the things the “front lines” need. They do need the support of the Body of Christ, the Church as much, if not more, than those on the “front lines.”

—Dwight L, Kansas City, MO

Letters on Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

Though I would hardly pass myself off as a theologian, I can’t help but chuckle when I read articles like this. We often are willing to “fall on our swords” defending our favorite theologies instead of taking God’s words at face value. We end up doing a lot of clearing of the throat and hand waving, as if to say, “Move along now. Nothing to see here.”

—Steve R, Hortonville, WI

Letters on Television’s Rape Epidemic

I agree. much too much skin, sexual content and rape or violent scenes in the media. There is a difference though, between a rape story line without much graphics among 6 or 7 seasons like in Downton Abbey and I suppose others (I don’t watch them). Rape happens to unfortunately too many women. It might be necessary to talk about it at some point without making it too graphic or for entertainment, thus kind of promoting it, or too casual, thus making it a part of life to be accepted.

—Liette P, Montreal, Quebec

Tim: Yes, rape is tragically common and, therefore, it makes sense that it appears in the fiction and non-fiction stories we tell and watch. It even makes many appearances in the Bible. But, as you say, the context, purpose, and explicitness makes a great difference. I fear that too much rape on television is added for purposes of entertainment—that it has become a way in which people amuse themselves with what is evil and harmful.

Letters on I Forbid You To Say These Things at my Funeral

Thank you for this letter, Tim. I have been a trauma counselor and an EMT here in Las Vegas over several years, sitting alongside those in tremendous grief in the very moments after losing a loved one. Finding the right words is always challenging, but finding the wrong ones is frustratingly easy. I have heard every one you have listed in your article, and I cringe every time. I don’t know where we’ve come up with these lines, but I hope your article reaches many eyes and we can just accept a funeral for what it is—a time to grieve the loss, hopefully temporarily, of someone dear to us. And yes, also to celebrate their memory. Thank you for pointing out it doesn’t need to be an either/or decision! I hope this brings freedom and comfort to those who will experience a loss in the future.

—Dave M, Las Vegas,

Letters on A Clean House and a Wasted Life

Could not agree more with your take on Christian hospitality. I still remember purchasing our current property about eight years ago; how for months, every step I took on that property brought praise and gratitude from my lips to the Lord. It’s not an estate, but it’s beautiful, people love to visit here, and it provides me myriad opportunities to reflect on nature, stewardship, and what it means to be hospitable.

My wife and I are of the same mind as far as guests to our home: We yearn and encourage “the old days” social behavior where doors, hearths and kitchens are open. It’s a hard paradigm to move many folks through—often it seems they aren’t sure whether we’re serious when we say “Our door is open. Please, just drop by.” Sometimes it winds up that the timing isn’t great, when we have to pause our day or move a to-do onto tomorrow’s list. But the rewards are great, and the refocusing of our hearts and minds other-wards is a gentle and lovely tonic for our self-made chaotic lives. “It’s not ours, it’s His…. the joy is in the sharing.”

—Paul M, Suffolk, VA

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

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    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

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    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.